On New Age Soul, the quartet’s latest album on SofaBurn Records, Atlanta-based situational pop outfit Small Reactions venture into uncharted waters, crafting a sound that is equal parts post-punk, new wave, and surf rock, revealing some of their finest moments yet.
Watch the video for the band’s latest single “Speak and Dress” below:
The band themselves prefer the term “nerve pop” to describe their music. The phrase comprises the frenetic energy of the late 70s new wavers and Bob Dylan’s shaky foot circa 1965. Sonically, they resemble “Chairs Missing”-period Wire and early Stereolab. Lyrically, they reside somewhere in the “new domestic” school.
While the band’s initial M.O. was to subvert indie pop through a state of blissful repetition, they now paint with a more vibrant palette—an adventurous approach full of tightly-strung melodies and a steadfast foundation that’s led to support with Portugal. The Man, Mac DeMarco, DIIV, and Titus Andronicus.
For the first time, Small Reactions’ songs breathe, they ride for a second longer, unencumbered as they move towards the light. Through a newfound clarity, the band’s instrumental interplay has been pushed to the top with brighter hues, thicker textures, and modern shapes. It’s easier to tell when lines dive behind corners and return to an altered state. The surprise left turns are still there—now all you have to do is keep up.
On the release of their latest single, drummer Sean Zearfoss states:
“‘Speak And Dress’ reflects on how we begin a life filled with wonder and uncertainty yet slowly move into safer, complacent, often void spaces and roles later in life. The realization that we transform from being children ‘of planets and stars’ to becoming stuck in ‘daily routines [that] have us frozen in place’ is a tough pill to swallow.
The video is intended to capture the tension between these spaces. In adolescence, we realize that adulthood looks like an oncoming train about to strip us of our individuality, self-expression, personality, you name it. We often act up, act out, and steer ourselves into cliques of like-minded people who are weird just like us. After all, misery loves company. Adulthood isn’t here yet, but we know it’s going to suck. This is a point of existential friction. Thankfully we’re decent skaters.”
Purchase and stream New Age Soul here.